Sunday, August 23, 2009

Let's go get lost

The Lost Coast, where the 1 and 101 highways pull away from the California coast is where some of the world's best camping is hidden away. Between rolling pot fields stashed beneath giant redwoods, and connected by near-impassable fire roads it's a rather clandestine spot tucked away in the northwest. We spent a few days searching around for the quiet spot,and after a rather harrowing experience nearly tipping the old camper van into a ravine and dragging it through the mud along a jeep trail we were rewarded by this sunset. We were also rewarded by a park ranger's hearty laughter when we told him where we had just tried to navigate the old vanagon. Laugh it up Smokey.

The place we found was pretty out there. Wild Elk roamed freely through out campsite, and there was, later on, plenty of local flavor as some locals made their way to the beach to tear ass out of the pristine dunes on their four wheelers, and light fireworks off to the pulsing beat of what could only be described as some combination of the soundtrack from 'A Clockwork Orange' and that last Shellac record. Weirdness abound. I prefer the Elk, though they could have gutted me like a fish in a second if they had chosen to.

Look at how happy he is.

We ended up leaving the locals be and settled for a grove of Eucalyptus trees,

A long-dormant harbor,

A desolate, black sand beach.

And a little bit of peace and quiet just up the road.

We spent a few nights nestled next to the comfort that the nearest person was several miles away. It was quiet, and bar a few bastard raccoons and an owl or two, remarkably serene.The fog rolled in quickly the next day though, and left us in the cold.

We headed inland the next day and swam in the river just for a bit of balance. It was an excellent, and restorative trip all around. Tomorrow I fly to Belfast with the smell of campfire on my clothes, and a clear vision of the wild in my my head. Hopefully it won't be my undoing. One more week of this, and then it's the end. See you there.